The census is being carried out by the Quality Council of India (QCI), an autonomous body constituted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for the purpose of 100% mapping of all such water bodies in Ganga districts for their improvement or rejuvenation.
QCI has so far assessed 578 waterbodies covering all 329 in UP. A total of 411 of the 578 surveying bodies are surrounded by settlements.
The survey, being carried out under the Centre’s ‘Namami Gange’ (Ganga Rejuvenation) program, has not yet been completed in Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and Bengal.
“Encroachment and use of waterbodies to dump solid waste can be the reasons behind their drying up. There should be a separate authority for the care of ponds and other such waterbodies. Currently, many ponds and tanks exist only in revenue records, ”said environmentalist Vikrant Tongad who has been working on reviving water creatures for a long time.
He said that the findings of the survey of water bodies in UP were shocking. “Mapping of water bodies is a welcome step. This will give us an idea of what went wrong in the last three-four decades and how we should go about rejuvenating them, ”said Tongad, founder of Social Action Forest and Environment (SAFE).
QCI said in its findings that the pace of the survey in Bengal is quite slow due to lack of official support in the state. It said that officials of Murshidabad district halted its ground assessment work stating “the reasons for political unrest”. It was suggested that the team go there only after the state survey for its survey.
QCI was supposed to start the survey in March last year, but it only started in November due to Kovid-19.
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